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Judiciary

Judges to follow discipline; ought not to take up cases not assigned by Chief Justice: SC [Read Judgment]

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      25 October, 2023 03:48 PM      0 Comments
Judges to follow discipline ought not to take up cases not assigned by Chief Justice SC Read Judgment

The Supreme Court has if a judge takes up a case not specifically assigned by the Chief Justice of the High Court, it is an act of gross impropriety.

A bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal said judges have to follow discipline and ought not to take up any case unless it is specifically assigned by the Chief Justice, or the roster would have no meaning.

In its order, the bench slapped Rs 50,000 cost on three respondents who filed civil writ petition to consolidate eight FIRs and got interim relief of no coercive actions after their plea under Section 482 Cr PC was quashed by another bench.

"This is a shocking case of gross abuse of process of law and a classic case of forum hunting," the bench said.

The apex court directed the Registrar (Judicial) of the Rajasthan High Court to place a copy of this order in all eight petitions under Section 482 of CrPC filed by the second to fourth respondents for quashing First Information Reports.

The court was hearing a plea by Ambalal Parihar who made "a very serious allegation" before the court. He cited the then prevailing roster notified by the Chief Justice of the Rajasthan High Court.

The appellant alleged that as the Single Judge taking up assignment of the criminal matters dealing with Section 482 CrPC did not grant interim relief to the respondents in two criminal cases, the respondents invented this method of filing a civil writ petition in which a prayer was made for consolidation of eight First Information Reports.

The allegation is that this was done to avoid the roster Judge who had not granted interim relief. The complainants were not impleaded in the civil writ petitions. Interestingly, both in civil and criminal cases, the same advocate represented the second to fourth respondents, the court noted.

"This is a case of gross abuse of process of law. We wonder how a civil writ petition for clubbing First Information Reports could be entertained. In the roster notified by the Chief Justice, there is a separate roster for criminal writ petitions. If the courts allow such sharp practices, the roster notified by the Chief Justice will have no meaning," the bench said.

The bench also said judges have to follow discipline and ought not to take up any case unless it is specifically assigned by the Chief Justice.

"A judge can take up a case provided either the cases of that category have been assigned to him as per the notified roster or the particular case is specifically assigned by the Chief Justice," the bench pointed out.

The bench also said though a civil writ petition was filed, the judge ought to have converted into a criminal writ petition which could have been placed only before the roster Judge taking up criminal writ petitions.

[Read Judgment]



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